The IELTS exam is an important prerequisite for candidates who need to study or work in countries where English is the medium of communication. Designed to test English language skills across four modules (reading, speaking, writing and listening), this Exam is recognised by Universities and employers in many countries.
Across the globe, professional bodies, immigration authorities and other government agencies accept IELTS scores as a benchmark to determine proficiency in English language skills. Candidates who wish to go for higher education must write the Academic IELTS Test, whereas those who wish to go for a career abroad write the General Training IELTS Test.
As with any Exam, there are certain techniques that must be followed to achieve success. You will be able to learn basic rules of grammar and vocabulary at a good English course.
Here are some tips that you should follow, to avoid mistakes in the exam.
1. Time: Please stick to the time constraints mentioned for each section. If you overrun your time in one section, you may need to leave questions unanswered in other sections and will lose marks.
2. Read the question carefully: if an answer is to be written in ‘not more than three words’, do not write four.
3. Number of words: Again, if you need to write a paragraph of 250 words and you only write 225, you will lose marks. Be careful with your numbers! Longer essays may lose you marks as the chance of making mistakes increases when your answers are too long.
4. Stick to the topic: Do not stray off the topic, or elaborate on matters that are not strictly to the point.
5. Understand the topic: The examiners are looking for specific topics. If you write on something else you will not be marked at all.
6. Plagiarism: Some students try to memorise essays. This never works, as examiners can easily find out if your standard is not consistent through the exam. If your essay is brilliant (as it is one that has been learnt by heart!) and the rest of your work doesn’t match that standard, it becomes obvious that your essay is not original and you can be penalized harshly.
7. You are required to express your own view. There are no right or wrong opinions, and you will be able to express your thoughts better if your views are those which you yourself believe in.
8. Keep your sentences short and crisp. Avoid unnecessarily long sentences, which can lead to more mistakes.
9. During the Speaking test, your accent does not matter, as much as the coherence of your speech and your ability to make yourself understood. If English is not your native language, they will understand that you may have an accent. The examiner will usually be someone who is familiar with your accent.
10. If you wish to save time, use shortcut keys on your computer, such as Ctrl+ C = Copy. Check online to find a list of the most common shortcut keys that will work for your system.